The Dodgers are in an envious position in the NL West at the moment, as their whole division is either getting ready to rebuild or currently rebuilding. As such, they likely don’t need to make any moves during the Winter Meetings to get back to the playoffs. However, they should of course look to improve after back-to-back World Series appearances (and failures), as 1988 continues to get further away.
Let’s start with familiar territory, as things are reportedly picking up between the Dodgers and Indians regarding starting pitcher Corey Kluber.
The deal seems like it might revolve around Alex Verdugo if it gets done and the Dodgers appear willing to part with him.
Hard to complain about anything rumored here. Kluber’s addition would make the Dodgers rotation both top-heavy and deep, and while I believe in Verdugo’s ability to be at least an average regular, he really doesn’t have any place to play at the moment.
Another name that has been brought up before is free agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu, and the Dodgers are continuing to show interest in him.
As I’ve pointed out before, on the surface this is rather confusing as LeMahieu doesn’t seem any better than either Chris Taylor or Enrique Hernandez. However, it seems possible that the Dodgers think they could finally unlock LeMahieu’s power stroke.
A new name for fans to track is free agent relief pitcher David Robertson, as it’s being reported that the Dodgers are one of the teams in the chase for him.
According to sources, interest in David Robertson has heated up, with at least a half-dozen teams expressing serious interest in the veteran reliever. The Mets and Red Sox have been connected to Robertson in recent days, but the Dodgers have emerged as a potential suitor, a source said.
It’s hard to complain too much about interest in a consistently good reliever with a career 2.88 ERA and 2.81 FIP. There’s talk of him struggling in 2018, but that’s only if you don’t consider 2017 the outlier in the last five seasons or so.
Robertson will be going into his age-34 season, so that’s worth thinking about in terms of years, but the interest makes sense.
Another new name that has popped up is Tigers outfielder Nick Castellanos, which … huh?
Granted, even Jon Morosi specifies that the interest isn’t intense or anything, but it’s confusing that he would be a target even if they do end up moving multiple outfielders.
Well, unless the connection is what Dustin suggests.
Oh right, Marlins catcher JT Realmuto is still a thing, and the Dodgers are involved, but boy it’s not looking promising.
“I want Cody Bellinger…”— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) December 11, 2018
“Oh be serio…”
“…and Alex Verdugo and Will Smith.”
Unless the price gets realistic, no issue with not going after him.
As far as free agent outfielder Bryce Harper goes, we’re now in mystery owner phase.
I mean … this could be Magic Johnson, right?
Meanwhile, Andrew Friedman held a press conference and covered a bunch of topics with reporters.
Most noteworthy for me was the news that Cody Bellinger would work on his swing with coaches.
Then there’s Alex Wood, who will likely be traded, but until then the latest is that he’ll go back to using the windup as working only out of the stretch didn’t help him.
He also got mad at Pedro Moura.
I mean, Pedro wasn’t wrong.
As far as the health of players on the mend is concerned, Corey Seager seems to be on track at least.
Seager, said Friedman, has “switched gears” from rehabbing elbow and hip operations to training for baseball activities this week at Dodger Stadium. But it’s too soon to know how close to 100 percent Seager will be for Spring Training or Opening Day, especially after two major operations. He is running, throwing and just began swinging a bat.
“We’re encouraged with where he’s at, but we’ll know more as we get into January and he ramps up his baseball skills,” Friedman said.
And Kenley Jansen‘s successful heart surgery should have him ready for Spring Training.
He said Jansen’s 5 1/2-hour heart procedure last month went “as well as we could have hoped,” and the closer should be ready for Spring Training with no limitations.
At least on paper things seem to be going well in that department so far.
One bit of front office news is that the Dodgers have hired Jeff Kingston away from the Mariners to be the Vice President/Assistant General Manager.
Not going to pretend I know a whole lot about him, but Mariners people certainly seem to think it’s a significant loss.
Certainly seems like a good thing that the team losing him isn’t happy about it.